Oiva Kallio was one of the most remarkable architects of the early 1900s. The style of the buildings designed by him extends from a baroque castle – the main office of SOK in the centre of Helsinki – to classicism, functionalism and modernism. His contemporaries described him a very quiet and traditional gentleman of principles.
Kallio qualified as an architect in 1908 and ran his own business from 1912 until the late 1950s. Perhaps the most visionary work of this son of a vicar from Pohjanmaa is the proposal for the competition to design the city centre of Helsinki held in 1924, which he finalized some years later. In Kallio’s proposal, Helsinki is seen as a monumental and cosmopolitan metropol. The proposal was never realised.